300Re: [MidwestCemeteries] graveyards.com March update
- Apr 6, 2008Expedition Report, 5 April 2008.
(All but the first location here are Kankakee County Illinois)
1. #637 Andreas von Zirngibl Grave [Chicago]
I had known of this site for years, but because of the location -
a working steel yard - had not tried to gain access. Finding myself
in the area this morning, I thought I'd give it a go. The facility
was extremely busy - there was a queue of trucks waiting to enter,
with more arriving every few minutes. I asked an employee if there was
a grave on this location, and he replied that there was, and said if
I wanted to get in today I'd have to wait. This was agreeable to me,
and I pulled my car off to the side. After about twenty minutes, he
brought me a hard hat, radioed the office for permission, and led
me into the scrap yard. I had expected to find the grave off to the
side; instead, it was in the middle of everything, with the trucks
of persons bringing metals on one side, a giant pile of metal behind it,
and on the other side, an industrial lifting vehicle, with a long arm
that had a claw on the end. The grave was an elevated concrete platform,
about ten feet square, with large concrete blocks on the corners for
protection. At one end was a granite monument, splattered with oil,
with the name and life dates of Andreas von Zirngible, veteran of the
Battle of Waterloo. Because my escort had to return to work, I
was able to spend only about a minute at the grave, but got some close-up
photos of the monument as well as several of the grave from a distance.
2. #638 Mound Grove Cemetery, Kankakee
Mound Grove is a mid-sized 19th-century city cemetery, with a variety
of monument styles. It was my primary destination for the day, as I
was seeking Governor Lennington Small (governor 1921-1929).
I stopped in at the office for a map; the manager, Dan Hynes, then got into
my car with me and we drove around so he could show me the highlights.
Aside from the governor, their best-known resident, there was a limestone
receiving vault (covered with ivy), and three mausolea, one with an
entrance several steps down into the ground, and an ornate bronze door.
3. #639 St. Rose Catholic Cemetery [adj. M.Grove]
St. Rose is a small Catholic cemetery adjacent to Mound Grove. A small
green railing, about a foot off the ground, separates the two cemeteries,
so that it is not possible to drive from one to the other (but one might
easily step over the rail). The landscaping is well maintained but in the
older section some monuments are damaged or leaning. There is also a
bare foundation visible, about two feet high, apparently from a destroyed
private mausoleum. The old entrance is intact; it consists of two gate
posts with a cross atop each, and swinging iron gates with the words
"St. Rose" and "Cemetery".
4. #640 Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery
This cemetery is known to anyone who drives along I-57, as the elevated
interestate runs along its eastern edge. I have driven past it several times,
coming back from Champaign other Central Illinois cities, but did not know
which cemetery it was until today.
Mount Calvary is a mid-sized, older Catholic cemetery. The entrance
is flanked by brick structures with granite insets bearing the cemetery
name; there are no gates. In one corner is a modern mausoleum. There
is a large open space in front, and behind it, a very large free-standing
panel holding a mosaic depicting a crucifixion scene, with the Virgin Mary
and St. John looking up at Christ on the cross, on a gold mosaic
background, the whole covered with plexiglass. Behind the mosaic is the
older part of the cemetery, including three mausolea, one of which is
entirely covered with something like plaster.
5. #641 Kankakee Memorial Gardens
Kankakee Memorial Gardens is a modern flat-marker cemetery, east of
Kankakee. It has a small pond, a new garden-crypt mausoleum, a veterans'
moument surrounded with flagpoles, a large wooden cross, and several
6. #642 B'Nai Israel Memorial Garden
B'Nai Israel is adjacent to, or part of, Kankakee Memorial Gardens. It
is a small section with a monument featuring a menorah. In front of this
monument are flat grave markers. B'Nai Israel is accessible through a short
driveway from the main road, thus giving it a separate entrance from
Kankakee Memorial Gardens.
7. #643 State Hospital Cemetery
As I neared the location indicated on the GPS device, I found myself
in a public park; a children's baseball practice session was going on
nearby. Driving into the park, a wooded area was on the left, and then
a high wooden wall extending for hundreds of feet along the road and
back into the woods - eight feet tall, posted with "No Trespassing"
signs. Apparently, this was the cemetery, but visiting was discouraged.
Towards the rear of the cemetery, the fence wasn't quite so high, and
I was able to get some photos over the top of the fence. Like other
institutional cemeteries, it features rows of uniform markers. These
were upright headstones, similar in shape to standard military headstones.
I couldn't get close enough to see whether they were stone or concrete,
or to read any names or dates.
8. #644 Old State Hospital Cemetery
Across the street from the park that includes the State Hospital
Cemetery, there is a modern water park. No cemetery was visible, but
near the corner of the parking lot, about fifty feet into a cornfield,
there was a small wooded area where the USGS list said the graveyard
should be. Wading into this, stepping carefully through dead branches,
I eventually found a single headstone. There were plenty of natural
stones lying about, none of which seemed to have any writing on them.
9. #645 Aroma Park Cemetery
A small-town cemetery in the countryside. There is a small building,
of red-painted concrete blocks, the doors and windows sealed off. It is
surrounded by a ground-level covered walkway on all four sides. A dedication
stone indicates it was built in 1912. Though a few columns are leaning,
it's in fairly good shape, and even the singles are intact.
The cemetery has a Civil War monument, an obelisk erected in the 1880's;
and a large white bronze monunent with an angel on top.
10. #646 Beebe Family Cemetery
From the main road that parallels the river, a long driveway goes past
a farm and between fields. Perhaps a quarter mile in, branching off from
this driveway is the grassy area between fields, and a small wooded area
is near this. These woods are the Beebe Family Cemetery; monuments are
visible from the driveway. To reach the cemetery you have to walk through
the cornfield (but there are only dead stalks there this time of year).
The cemetery is heavily overgrown with trees and smaller plants. The
fence is mostly in disrepair. The monuments are intact, however, and
there are about ten stones, including large granite monuments.
After leaving Beebe Cemetery, I came across an odd sight - it appeared
to be a helicopter, hoevering only a short distance above the ground,
with a rocket slung underneath. As I got closer I saw that they were
attached to support pylons; this is a war memorial, next to the local
American Legion post.
11. #647 Leggtown Cemetery
This cemetery is hidden away between houses and farmland. It is
in the woods, and although there is a fence, much of it is missing.
This cemetery was larger than the other wooded cemeteries I saw this day,
with thirty or more monuments, most of them intact. The family name
"Legg" was prominent.
12. #648 Oak Wood Cemetery
A small cemetery on the side of the road, surrounded by fields. A
mechanical irrigation system (looking somewhat like a giant metal stick
insect) was behind the cemetery. It is modern, with granite monuments.
13. #649 Concordia Cemetery
Concordia Cemetery is adjacent to a dirt road, with woods all around.
A private gun shooting club is nearby. When I reached the location of
the cemetery, nothing special was visible - just woods, with fences in
front, and various gates, most marked with "No Trespassing" signs.
At the point where the cemetery should be, I saw that the fenceposts were
concrete rather than the more common wood, and there was no gate, just
an opening between concrete posts, so I assumed this was the cemetery.
Going in, I found that it was extremely overgrown, full of thorny branches -
the worst such location I had been in today, even though I had explored
three earlier wooded graveyards. Proceeding along one edge from the
entrance, I found that the area was fenced in at the rear, and in the
corner there were tall concrete posts that might have once had a gate
(I couldn't get close enough to see). I then walked along this back
fence, and found a few monuments in the opposite corner. I was able
to see only about 8-10 monuments in this cemetery, though there may have
been more under the thick growth. However, I had by this point received
enough scratches that I did not investigate further!
14. #650 Old Baptist Cemetery
This cemetery is located between a corn field and a wheat field,
but there is a wide grassy path leading to it. The fenced-in area is
large, but there are only a sixteen monuments in one corner, and
a single monument in another corner, giving the impression that only
about a very small portion of the cemetery is occupied. THe most
recent burial date visible was 1913.
15. #651 St. Anne Catholic Cemetery
At this point, the light was fading, so I was moving very quickly,
and proceeded towards two cemeteries located near each other in the town
of St. Anne. St. Anne Catholic Cemetery features a crucifixion scene
with an altar. Both old and modern monuments are present.
16. #652 St. Anne Township Cemetery
The town's other cemetery is just a few blocks away (and is
visible from the Catholic cemetery). This cemetery spans both sides
of a road, with the corners of both parcels of land marked with small
sections of fence.
Then, it got dark, and I came home.
hucke@... - http://www.graveyards.com
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the Leaf of China
that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes
a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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